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Irish times




Last weekend the world’s best enduro riders were in Ireland, racing hard, wrecking gear and racking up points in their World Series. Rae Morrison took to her top with a needle and thread to make it more streamlined. It looked deadly serious.

We have only been to Ireland once, and it was long ago, but we spent most of our time laughing with the locals, who were not very serious at all.

Our race correspondent Wyn Masters made the observation in his facebook feed that he was “In Ireland, where they don't have numbers on their houses, makes sense..”. That called to mind an experience we had in Dublin.

We checked into a backpackers, an old stone building that looked a bit like Mt Eden Prison, if it had a bright green door.

The man at the check-in desk was very friendly and accommodating, and he said that if we didn’t mind some stairs he could give us a bunkroom to ourselves on the seventh floor, with plenty of room, and a bathroom nobody else would be using. At least that is what I think he said, it was not always easy to decipher the exact words of a conversation although the message was clearly hospitable.

It hadn’t looked to me as if the place would have a seventh floor, but he said something like “just up the stairs there, go on, room 702”.

We climbed the stairs, two flights to the third floor, then ran out of stairs. We wandered up and down the corridor to no avail, and returned to the front desk looking confused.

The man at the desk looked confused as well. He said just go up the stairs, carry on, you can’t go any further that the seventh floor, when you are there you are there. We tried again, and failed again.

This time the concierge had a good think about it and said, as if following a mental diagram, up the stairs, then across the corridor, then up the stairs, through the door down the hall, then carry on, do you follow?

Or words to that effect.

Armed with the new information about the hall and the door, we mounted the stairs again. Sure enough, at the third floor landing there was a short hallway to another building, with a door at the end, and beyond that some more stairs.

Going down.

We descended another four floors, until we arrived at the seventh, which was underground and actually one level below the reception.

He was bang on. Counting from reception we were on the seventh floor, and we had a nice big bunkroom to ourselves, more showers and other amenities than we could use, and a really pleasant stay.

No view to speak of, but you can’t have everything.




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